Jennifer Senior On: Grief, Happiness, Friendship Breakups, and Why We Feel Younger Than Our Actual Age
Manage episode 360442375 series 172966
It’s likely uncontroversial to assert that Jennifer Senior is one of our finest living journalists. She’s currently a staff writer at The Atlantic and before that she spent many years at the New York Times and New York magazine. Jennifer’s written on a vast array of topics, but she has a special knack for writing articles about the human condition that go massively, massively, viral. One such hit was a lengthy and extremely moving piece for The Atlantic that won a Pulitzer Prize. It was about a young man who died on 9/11, and the wildly varying ways in which his loved ones experienced grief. That article, called “What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind,” has now been turned into a book called, On Grief: Love, Loss, Memory.
In this interview, we spend a lot of time talking about this truly fascinating yarn, but we also talk about her other articles: one about an eminent happiness researcher who died by suicide, another about why friendships often break up, and a truly delightful recent piece about the puzzling gap between how old we are and how old we think we are. Jennifer has also written a book about parenting, called All Joy and No Fun which we also reference a few times throughout.
In this episode we talk about:
- Jennifer’s perspective on the Bobby McIlvaine story
- Lesser known theories of grieving from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
- The work involved in finding meaning in loss
- Why – from an evolutionary standpoint – we hurt so badly when we lose someone we love
- Commitment and sacrifice
- The puzzling gap between how old you are and how old you think you are
- The power and perils of friendship
- Why Jennifer has chosen to focus so much of her writing on relationships
Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/jennifer-senior-583
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